COMMENT - On NATO's secret armies, and Operation Gladio
NATO’s Secret Army
by Daniel Ganser and Alexander Artamonov
Global Research, May 5, 2012
Interview with Daniel Ganser
NATO’s secret army existed on the territory of Western Europe until the beginning of the 90s. And maybe it is still functioning today. It was called Gladio, which means sword in Latin. One of its emblems is a salamander, which marks its belonging to the secret services syndicate.
In order to understand what this movement really represented or, possibly, is still representing, we consulted the well-known Swiss historian Daniel Ganser, who has published a book about the secret army.
Mr. Ganser, you are a historian, specializing in modern history and international relations since 1945. You lecture at Basel University and you are the author of numerous works which caused a sensation all over the world. I would like to speak to you about your most well-known book “NATO’s Secret Army”.
NATO’s Secret Army is a poorly studied phenomenon. Even my colleagues used to say to me: "But NATO has never had any secret army!" The whole world thought that such a thing did not exist. And then, in 1990, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti confirmed that all the European NATO countries had secret armies. Their aim was to resist a Soviet invasion. But during the Cold War period nothing of the kind happened, as you know. Therefore, people thought that these armies were useless, but it was not so. They were used in order to manipulate the political climate in many European countries - France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, Portugal,and Finland. It was a large-scale phenomenon all right.
Your book “NATO’s Secret Army” inspired film director Emmanuel Amaro on the creation of an excellent documentary lasting 52 minutes. Your book has to do with both Russia and Western Europe. Has your book been published in Russian yet?
No, not yet! But in two weeks I am presenting the Russian version of my book in Moscow.
We received evidence that the secret army had actually existed, at least until the beginning of the 90s. And still there is no reason to believe it was dismissed.
Can you add some important details to the above-mentioned?
Historians say that in fact this army conducted acts of terror, aimed at changing the political course of one or another country, consistently dissociating it from the USSR and Eastern Europe. So, on August 2, 1980, a bomb exploded in the waiting room of a railway station in Bologna, which took the lives of 85 people. 200 people received injuries of varying severity.
At first, the Italian police attributed this terrorist act to the Red Brigades, but ultimately Gladio was pronounced guilty. A month and a half later, during Oktoberfest in Munich, there was another act of terror. Colonel Klaus Fishner, a former employee of the counter-intelligenc e service of Stasi, said: "The task was to create tension in NATO countries and to suppress any political left-wing deviation." As we can see, that was the mission, aimed at justifying the existence of the secret army.
German historian Erich Schmidt-Eenboom affirms that in Germany a considerable part of the secret army, about 25%, was recruited from former members of the SS.
The general public is well-acquainted with the film "The Bourne Identity." Only people do not know that the mysterious organization Dread Stone that stood behind the anonymous American political killers and was housed in Langley, has a real terrible prototype. And this is Gladio.
Stop NATO e-mail list home page with archives and search engine:
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/stopnato/ messages
Stop NATO website and articles:
http://rickrozoff. wordpress. com
To subscribe for individual e-mails or the daily digest, unsubscribe, and otherwise change subscription status:
stopnato-subscribe@ yahoogroups. com
Global Research Articles by Daniel Ganser
Global Research Articles by Alexander Artamonov
Firm hits new copper spot
April 16, 2012
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
CALEDONIA Mining Corporation says it has discovered a new copper zone at Nama Project in the Copperbelt Province and phase one drilling is expected to commerce this year.
The company holds licences covering squares of kilometres adjacent to Konkola and Vale/ African Rainbow Minerals properties.
According to information contained in the company’s interim results as at December 31, 2011, issued in Lusaka recently, it says Konkola east is the target for the project with preliminary holes drilled in 2011 which identified a new copper-bearing mineralised zone.
We have made an exciting discovery of a new copper-bearing mineralised zone at the Nama project in Zambia. Phase one drill of the year 2012 exploration programme to further confirm the shallower up-dip extension has commenced,” reads the report.
Labels: COPPER, COPPERBELT PROVINCE, KCM, VALE
COMMENT - I don't like the general non-committal tone of the article, but perhaps to be expected from someone in the aid/development industry, who has to appease a lot of governments. Clearly though, the less of agriculture is rainfed, the greater the yields are going to be, including having multiple harvests. I would suggest looking into small on-farm irrigation. I suggest looking into PA Yeomans Keyline Design
Drought: Zimbabwe needs new agro model
by Tafirenyika Makunike
I HAVE the privilege of writing from Zimbabwe where I am spending a couple of days. Once you have survived the Animal Farm chaos of entering the country through BeitBridge, you can really have an exciting and memorable visit.
If half our politicians just experienced a quarter of what the rest of us have to endure just to get into the country through the BeitBridge border post, then all the border issues would have been solved long time ago.
I have always wondered how many visitors just stay away from Zimbabwe because they cannot endure BeitBridge border. It is in this vain that I welcome a suggestion by Mthuli Ncube of the African Development Bank that BeitBridge should be converted into one-stop border post.
The country is still pregnant with opportunities whose gestation period is being lengthened by our collective hesitancy to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done. The country is still largely a tale of two groups of people – a large mass of “have-nots” at the bottom and the few privileged haves perched at the top with a sprinkling of some “desire to have” in the middle.
Those with the “desire to have” can transverse the divide between them and the haves, once they identify and exploit a particular opportunity. If they fail, then they slide down to the large pool of “have nots”.
The financial survival of most of the “have nots”, largely located in the rural areas, is inextricably linked to the rainfall patterns of the area. I went through my own village where I grew up and for probably the third year in a row, they are going to harvest absolutely nothing again but not for lack of trying though. They may even be the unintended victims of climate change, a phenomenon they neither know about, nor did they participate in causing.
Every year, they have dutifully put their seeds to the ground, weeded the young crop, even applied fertiliser but while they were waiting for the bumper harvest the rains disappeared. When you do the maths of all the finances that these villagers put to the ground with no return, it is absolutely devastating.
There is no human being anywhere in the world who is wired for handouts. Receiving handouts year-in year-out does terrible things to their self-esteem. Much of these rural villages enter that period which Charles Mungoshi euphemistically called "waiting for the rain" prone to repeat the same vicious cycle if the rain decides to show up in October, disappearing in early January.
There is need for us as a country to develop a sustainable rural-based model that would reduce the reliance on the pattern of rainfall. Unfortunately, our politicians' eyes are now firmly focussed on the next election which may or may not happen in 2012 or 2013.
While I do believe in the value of democratic elections, I do not buy the notion that it will answer all our socio-economic maladies. We need more innovative national thinking that transcends short term elections focussed on delivering a better life for those still trapped in the ‘have not’ cycle.
[Well the MDC and their DeBeers-ocracy is not. - MrK]
We now have a number of universities packed with the cream of our national intelligentsia, but what we require from them is the conversion of theoretical knowledge into applied knowledge for the upliftment of our country.
I have had the benefit of doing some work in a number of agro-based regions of South Africa and I have observed that much of their agriculture is not a direct function of the rainfall pattern. It is more directly correlated to the irrigation infrastructure. Building dams is indeed a good start but it is not the end.
[Investigate the term 'small water', as opposed to the big irrigation projects that were so popular in the 1950s. - MrK]
The village I come from has benefitted from a new dam build across the Mpudzi River. Apart from the boon for those of us who enjoy bass fishing, there is no harvesting of this water resource for cropping purposes currently happening. Once a dam is built, there is need to deliver the water affordably to the cropping fields.
If you are not in Nyanyadzi, Chakohwa or many areas of the Lowveld where water can just be delivered to the fields through gravity, then you require energy to deliver the water.
[Or on-farm water storage through small water projects. This also has the benefit of only storing water that is needed on a per farm basis, instead of creating giant lakes that rob the surrounding areas of water. - MrK]
The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project – long mooted – is not just a romantic pipe dream but a sustainable agricultural model which could green a large part of our dry lands resulting in improved livelihoods.
If we added an additional 3000MW of power generation capacity, our growing economy could consume this added capacity in less than ten years. This national planning requires futuristic thinking going beyond the horizon of the next election.
Energy costs money which must be paid for in one way or another. Unfortunately, when it comes to paying for energy, our political leaders are terrible examples. The government is unable to provide the funds for the huge infrastructural gap that exists in the agro-industries space. There is need for massive incentives to entice the private sector to bring to invest in this space.
Contrary to widely-held perceptions, rural people are quite amenable to change once the benefits are clearly understood and explained. It is not that the “have nots” are not willing to work for improving their lives. All they require is guidance to move from just working hard to working smarter and harder.
For sustainable livelihoods in rural areas, we need our intelligentsia to assist in adoption of innovation from land preparation, planting of seeds, crop care to harvest. There is ample opportunities for further innovation from post-harvest handling, logistical arrangements for delivering the harvest in time, right quality and price to the appropriate market.
We can excel as a nation in this field when we plan, allocate resources, and act with the long term goal in mind.
Tafirenyika L. Makunike is the chairman and founder of Nepachem cc (www.nepachem.co.za), an enterprise development and consulting company. He writes in his personal capacity
COMMENT - There are many known war criminals the ICC could be issuing arrest warrants for, and isn't. It is no secret that a certain oil and mining company (Glencore) has entered into a joint venture the government of South Sudan Nilepet.
So is this a legal decision, or a business decision?
Malawi bars al-Bashir from AU summit
by Mabvuto Banda I Reuters
MALAWI President Joyce Banda said on Friday she had asked the African Union to prevent Sudan's wanted leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir from attending a summit in her country, saying his visit would have "implications" for the economy.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Sudan's President Bashir to face charges of masterminding genocide and other war crimes during his nation's Darfur conflict.
Malawi angered international donors when it played host to Bashir last year - ICC members countries like Malawi are supposed to arrest people wanted by the global court.
Banda, who became president last month with promises to restore relations with donors, said on Friday she had asked the African Union not to invite Bashir to the African heads of state summit in her country in July.
"I have written them because of the economic implications this may have on Malawi," she told a news conference.
"Let the AU decide on his position. He (Bashir) should forgive us this time as we are struggling to fix the economy."
She did not go into details of what economic implications Bashir's visit would have on her impoverished southern African nation.
But Banda has in the past promised to restore a flow of overseas aid cut under the rule of her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika. That cut left a gaping hole in a budget that relies on overseas assistance for about 40 percent of its funds.
The announcement is likely to infuriate Bashir, who has already had to restrict his movements to a relatively small circle of friendly nations since his indictment.
The Sudanese government said Malawi had no right to make such a request.
"This will not happen, because the host country does not have the right to dictate who comes. This is according to the AU," Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman El-Obeid Morawah said in Khartoum.
"Since Sudan is a member of the AU, it has a right to attend the summit. The hosting country does not have the right to say who comes," he said.
Mutharika's government allowed Bashir to attend a regional trade summit last year, citing "brotherly coexistence".
The move strained ties with donors, including the United States and European nations, who had already frozen projects in Malawi due to Mutharika's suspected human rights violations and growing autocracy. Mutharika died last month of a heart attack.
Malawian government press secretary Ruth Govati said on Friday Banda would not be able to comment immediately on why Malawi was going through the AU to block Bashir or what she planned to do if he came.
The International Criminal Court, the world's first permanent war crimes court, has no police force of its own and relies on member states to carry out arrests.
Labels: AU, GLENCORE INTERNATIONAL AG, ICC, JOYCE BANDA, SUDAN
COMMENT - My comments throughout the article and readers comments below. Denying the people of Africa to return to the land that was stolen from them under colonialism is the second reason why people are poor in resource rich countries. The first is denying them the benefits of their own natural resources. Why should the taxpayers of Britain pay one cent in 'donor aid', when the British and US governments are preventing the Zimbabwean government from selling the Zimbabwean people's diamonds? Donor aid is theft - necessitated by the theft of raw materials by transnational corporations, theft again by taking taxpayer money from western taxpayers, when the taxes should be paid by transnational corporations, itself only necessary because the mines are not owned outright by the state as they should be.
UK must open up aid to Zimbabwe's resettled farmers
by Alex Duval Smith I Guardian
Zimbabwe's land reform programme was carried out to international condemnation starting in 2000. Alex Duval Smith, the Africa correspondent of the UK Guardian newspaper, says Britain's decision to stop humanitarian aid from reaching the 750,000 people now living on "contested land" misses "fundamental changes" taking place in Zimbabwe:
IT IS 12 years since President Robert Mugabe responded to divisions in his party and the rise of an opposition by launching a "fast-track" resettlement programme in which 4,500 white commercial farmers were thrown off the land and replaced by 150,000 black families.
[It is 'brave' within the context of the British press to diverge from the official lie that land only went to 'friends and cronies of Mugabe' (transl: higher ups in the ZANU-PF and army infrastructure), when in fact there are over 350,000 families that are the recipients of land under the Willing Buyer Willing Seller (pre-2000) and Fast Track (post-2000) land reform programs - well over a million people, counting direct relatives. This has always been stated by the Zimbabwean government, and has been confirmed by prof. Ian Scoones' survey of 400 farms in Masvingo Province, where only 3% of recipients could even be described as such. You should also ask - if land reform is such a bad thing, why do the official media have to lie about it by claiming that there is only an intra-elite transfer of wealth? It is because the MDC is based on lies and deception, and funded by the British and American governments. - MrK]
It feels as though it is almost as long since Britain took a close look at Zimbabwe and assessed what should be achieved with the $126m of taxpayers' money spent in the country each year.
Britain's priorities count. Donors, led by the US, give more than $900m per year in aid to Zimbabwe and they take their lead from the Department for International Development (DfID).
[Actually, Zimbabwe does not need any aid at all. They should be 'allowed' in this 'free trade' era, to sell their own diamonds. Of course, 'free trade' means a global monopoly owned by Anglo-American De Beers. So mr. Duval-Smith, why isn't Zimbabwe allowed to sell it's diamonds? - MrK]
Since the land invasions began in 2000, donors have faced a conundrum: how to provide humanitarian assistance to needy people without giving a penny to their government.
[Or the 150,000 New Farmers. In fact, their 'problem' was how to ensure that the Zimbabwean government gave them financial support and made clear to the world how successful it is to have your own people working their own land. Because that would 'send the wrong message', especially with the corporate ownership of diamond mines in Botswana and South Africa, and with land reform being direly needed throughout the former British colonies, including South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. - MrK]
The challenge did not go away in 2009, when the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was given a few ministries.
Britain came up with a good plan – to channel aid money through two conduits. These are the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), which handles education, health and social welfare, and the Protracted Relief Programme (PRP), which uses NGOs to support 2 million communal farmers.
The system is reactive to emergencies – such as the 2008 cholera outbreak – and has provided for consultation with MDC-controlled ministries. Importantly, it allows for the travel and business sanctions imposed against Mugabe and other individuals to appear not to affect ordinary people.
However, while the donors have studiously been perfecting routes to circumvent the treasury, Zimbabwe has fundamentally changed.
DfID officials stress that British taxpayers' money does not go to people living on "contested land", meaning farms for which former owners have not been compensated. Britain, they say, only helps people living on communal lands – those whom Britain has always helped, and whose security of tenure is at the whim of traditional chiefs.
The assertion that aid is not reaching new farmers on "contested land" means Britain is ignoring the humanitarian needs of the 150,000 families – about 750,000 people – who have been part of the largest demographic movement in southern Africa in the past decade.
Here are some snapshots of Zimbabwe now:
[We don't need 'snapshots', we need actual, honest and unflinching analysis of why the Zimbabwe Dollar was destroyed and to what purpose - the main being to try and make land reform fail. Let's talk about the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, and it's effects, like causing a credit freeze the year it came int force, from Jan. 1st 2002 onwards. - MrK]
• On Portelet Estates, a former commercial farm near Chinhoyi, 450 children attend a "satellite school" with no furniture or blackboards in a barn on the verge of collapse. The head teacher, Fanuel Mtongozi, 46, says the school opened in 2002 for children of settlers in Village Nine. Unicef delivered the first textbooks last year. There are 1,363 satellite schools in Zimbabwe, but they are not mentioned in Unicef's Education Transition Fund plan.
• A white pensioner begs in the car park at Avondale shopping centre in the northern suburbs of the capital, Harare. She says she lost her farm, then her husband died, and her pension became worthless under hyperinflation in 2008. There are now no more than 500 white farmers left in Zimbabwe, most of them past retirement age, many living in hardship and reliant on charity.
• Near Macheke, a man in his 40s, called Patrick, squats in dilapidated buildings that used to be the productive fruit and tobacco farm where he worked. It has been resettled under "fast track". He is not a beneficiary, but he has nowhere else to go and lives by doing odd jobs for the resettled farmers. Zimbabwe has an estimated 1 million internally displaced people – 8% of the population. They are often former commercial farm employees. There is no support for them as long as they remain on "contested land".
• Near Goromonzi, Mathias Mandikisi, a former "war vet" – who played an active role in occupying the land he now farms – has had a bumper tobacco crop on his six hectares. He bought his first car last year, at the age of 53. This year he intends to trade in his Mazda 323 for a one-tonne pick-up.
[You mean 'war vet', they way rhodesians refer to the War of Independence as 'The Bush War'? The Zimbabwean people fought for and won their own freedom. They did not 'receieve' independence from anyone, they took it themselves. Like they took the land themselves. - MrK]
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of "fast-track" farms have not been given to high-ranking officials of Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu PF). They are plots of land that have been given to low- and middle-ranking civil servants and to people like Mandikisi who were previously living in townships.
[A popular belief fed by lies in the BBC, CNN, etc. Like independence or land reform, this 'popular belief' did not spontaneously spring from itself. - MrK]
Mandikisi said: "Some of us are doing well and we are very grateful to President Mugabe for giving us back the land. Others are not succeeding so well as farmers. But even they are staying on the land. There are no jobs in the location [township] and at least here everyone can grow their own food."
It could be argued that it is for Zanu PF to provide the new farmers with seeds and fertiliser. But they, as much as all Zimbabweans, need clinics, schools, boreholes and roads.
[Also, why not start repaying the Zimbabwean government for the economic damage done by economic sanctions, like ZDERA? - MrK]
Another reason to start including the resettled farmers in calculations of the humanitarian needs of Zimbabwe is to ensure that aid is going where it is most needed.
[And that they too are under the financial control of the 'donors'. - MrK]
A shortfall is predicted this year in the 2m tonnes of maize required by the country. Guesstimates of production range from 700 tonnes to 1.4m tonnes. This is because the output of the new farmers is not known.
Like him or loathe him, Mugabe's policies over the past 12 years have radically transformed Zimbabwe. "Fast track" happened, and in an agrarian society like Zimbabwe, its impact should be at the centre of humanitarian policymaking. The changes should stimulate rather than mute the analysis and debate about aid to the country.
ZuluShaka 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
What Mr Duval has prejudice omitted is the true meaning of Western aid to Africa.We pay billions of exploitative interest only to IMF of which his country is the biggest shareholder.This dwarfs phantom aid purported by this article ,money spend on companies in donor countries .Here is this metaphor that explains it :
If a Western country donates aid to Africa consultancy companies within receives the money to provide advice on projects in Africa and charge a fee to the recipient .Mostly advice is privatization unaffordable with costs going to the suffering .The beneficiaries of such projects are Western companies who pay corporate tax back to their treasuries ..Tanzania dam project is a very good example .Food consumption such as rice ,tomatoes are a surplus from heavily subsidized agriculture ,an essential component to Africa trade barrier, which is then dumped to Africa undercutting local producers some not fit for consumption.The rest is for NGOs to prop up puppetry regimes .
Red nose day ,sponsor a child and oxfam is a farce and nonsensical endeavor .Africa had always potential through raw materials and working ethos .Our history, pre colonialism entails this .We don't need bread crumbs our ancestors built empires around the world reciprocal and violent coercion.
The devil is in the details when it comes to Africa ,from 1886 initiatives to ZIDRA .It is a match because we are black and a white man's burden therefore we definitely needs rescuing.They have also disapproved research from Darwin's evolution .
I am going to finish with two quotes:
"Blacks are mentally inferior ,by nature subservient ,and cowards in face of danger.Therefore unfit for combat ".(1925 US ARMY WAR COLLEGE STUDY)
"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people .I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.(WINSTON CHURCHILL BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PM)
RG_M 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
Mr Duval Smith this is a fair and unbiased piece of journalism.....the solid facts of what is actually transpiring on the ground in Zimbabwe, the real beneficieries of the land reform, the real lives and not the usual propaganda about the 'ZANU PF cronies' only benefited.
Rhodesianarmy 2 comments collapsed Collapse Expand
There's no need for Britain to be pouring humanitarian aid at the present moment in this country,after all those brutal attack and killings of white farmers and removing them from their properties,law and order should be maintained before these humanitarian aid assistance take place...
Zuda Madhara 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
But then from what Mark Duval is saying we can deduce thus; firstly The Guardian is a proConservative paper - what it says reflects the current thinking of the government. Secondly Britain is worried, very worried that the land reform seem to have succeeded without them being involved. What is the implication? This failure to get itself involved in the land reform process, to Britain, symbolises the cutting of the umbilical cord tying Zimbabwe to Britain. Where does the satellites schools come in the? Given Mugabe's already known knowledge of managing and growing education from nowhere, the satellites schools will soon chain out a new stream of academia who do not recognise Britain at all, as these sattellite pupils who will soon be in university, hyave never received any aid from outside the country - the only aid they know comes from Government's limited resources. Soon these anti-British satellite-educated students will be campaigning for political office. This is Britain's dilemma, reminiscent of the so-called Prisoner's Dilema; you damned if you and still damned if you don't. But most importantly this article is a veiled attack on the MDC by the British for not having told them the reality on on Zimbabwe. Rememeber the ZANU PF beneficiary mentality was promoted by the MDC at a time when no UK institution or individual was willing to go to Zimbabwe to verify the facts - they relied too much on what the MDC was telling them to the extent of passing whole policies based on falsehoods as they are finding out now that they are finally coming out of their cocoons to go and see things for themselves. What are seeing in Zimbabwe is quite defferent from what they used to think based on MDC reports. This writing is a intended to tell the MDC that the master is not happy for having been misled. Now wait for the unravelling of the real drama - this is only the beggining, the episode of the play, if you like. Meanwhile Zimbabwe is not begging for aid, but rather its message is to be allowed to trade freely on the international market without hindrance from sanctions, which themselves are fast becoming meaningless to their imposers - the West have awoken a giant unknowingly!
bantu_biko2 2 comments collapsed Collapse Expand
There is more positive results that have happened in Zimbabwe. We hear figures of donations that comes to zimbabwe , but we never here figures of loots that leaves zimbabwe to these nations.Any person with common sense wouldn't argue about the land reform, just look at the ratio of whites to blacks on the land process.Those uncle Toms who does not support land reform is because they are lazy , too lazy to go farming , only enjoys roaming in streets of the ghetto like zombies. Farming is a learning process, and results will get better every season. It took white farmers a century to get establish with cheap labour too, and we dont need a century to get there.
Pumba01 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
You could learn a lot sooner ,by getting the help from those farmers who have the skills!Yes land reform was necessary and overdue,but to impoverish you like Mugabe did,was his trump card to stay in power
FaceItmaZimba 2 comments collapsed Collapse Expand
Mr. Duval Smith, I am afraid you are going to be labelled a zanu pf apologist, a CIO operative, a paid zanu mercenary and any other derogatory name under the sun (not the newspapers) by your s truly MDC-T. They do not tolerate any alternative view that points out any success or good thing in Zimbabwe. All they expect you to talk about is zanu military chiefs and mugabe cronies got the land. The 750 000 people you are talking about are non-existant, MDC-T style.
chrismadondo 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
i disagree with you,not every mdc member is fanatical in their support of the party,i am an mdc supporter and i agree with mr Duval Smith's sentiments in the article above,may i also add that i have come across some pretty solid arguements by zanu pf supporters on this forum,i believe people that support zanu pf are merely exercising their democratic right and should not be demonised for being as such and the same applies to mdc supporters,everyone chooses a party they feel better represents their own interests given their individual circumstances,party affiliation is not a life time dogmatic commitment if you feel a party has lost its relevance to your own needs as an adult you should be free to choose another party that better represents your interests
maitiroenyu 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
Proves a point that you really do not have to be Zanu PF to make a lot of sense.
Labels: LAND REFORM, NEOCOLONIALISM, SANCTIONS, ZDERA
President Sata slams illegal sanctions
Friday, 27 April 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
ZAMBIAN President Michael Sata yesterday bemoaned the effects of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries. He also supported the land reform programme, saying the liberation struggle would have been in vain had land remained in the hands of a few.
President Sata said Zimbabwe’s economy could perform much better without the illegal sanctions. He made the remarks during a tour of Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited.
“Zimbabwe is surviving under harsh conditions because of sanctions. If there were no sanctions, they (Dairibord) would do very much better than this.”
The Zambian leader, who was elected into office in September last year, said entrepreneurs in his country had a lot to learn from Dairibord.
“We need to get some of those people to come and see how their friends are doing here,” he said.
He pledged to create business for Dairibord in Zambia.
President Sata was in a jovial mood and cracked jokes throughout his tour.
On noticing Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara’s name and signature in Dairibord’s visitors’ book, he said: “Mutambara was Acting Prime Minister, where was the Prime Minister? Why was he acting PM?”
President Sata has always advocated the removal of sanctions that have affected Government efforts to turnaround the economy.
He later toured Tyron Farm in Mashonaland East Province owned Cde Noah Mangondo where he threw his weight behind the country’s agrarian reforms.
“You should not be cheated, the whole world survives on land. America is what it is because of land. The fight for Zimbabwe would have been in vain if land did not go back to where it belonged.”
President Sata was addressing people gathered at the farm to welcome him.
“This is the first country we are paying a State visit because we think like you people,” he said.
“Pamberi naJongwe,” a feast-waving President Sata said.
He urged farmers to put land allocated to them to good use.
Mashonaland East Governor and Resident Minister Aeneas Chigwedere said contrary to reports in the international media that farms allocated to blacks were lying idle, Zimbabweans were fully utilising the land.
“We are here to show you what some of us are able to do to utilise the land,” he said.
“When you are out there you are told that former white-owned farms are lying derelict but this is evidence that a lot is happening. Africans are closely attached to their land.”
President Sata also toured the National Heroes Acre in Harare accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
He laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and commended Zimbabwe for according its heroes a proper burial.
“It is a good idea to remember those who lost their lives in the struggle,” President Sata said.
“It is encouraging that in all of Africa, it is only Zimbabwe and Namibia that have Heroes Acres.”
President Sata said some people were enjoying the benefits of independence out of sacrifices made by Zimbabwe’s gallant sons and daughters.
He recognised a number of heroes buried at the national shrine, including Cdes Herbert Chitepo, Samuel Parirenyatwa, Julia Zvobgo and Mark Dube.
“Some of the people buried here I saw them physically,” he said.
When he reached the grave of Zanla Commander General Josiah Tongogara, he quipped:
“Everybody feared him.”
President Sata cracked jokes while touring the National Heroes Acre.
On realising that there were more male heroes than females buried at the national shrine, he jokingly said: “This is discrimination. We need more women to die.”
Labels: DAIRIBORD ZIMBABWE HOLDINGS, LAND REFORM, MICHAEL SATA, SANCTIONS, ZDERA, ZIMBABWE
Market Watch Brains Muchemwa: Soft infrastructure at mines ministry crucial
Saturday, 28 April 2012 18:47
Harare-Shamva road is largely a quiet thoroughfare when compared to other busy inter-town highways. Those who drive down the road will, with no doubt, enjoy the pothole-free highway.
Driving with a relaxed mind, one has good chances to marvel at some beautiful hills and pollution-free, man-made small dams that adorn the snaking road. About 80 kilometres from Harare towards Shamva, there is some activity to the right side of the road where Shamva gold mine has been operating for many years.
Just across Shamva gold mine, about 4 km away on a very bad, dusty road, lie the famous Tafuna Hills.
From the main road, Tafuna Hills look serene and just like other ordinary hills in the area.
The very steep slopes and ordinary looks would, under normal circumstances, not entice a person driving down the highway to cast a second glance.
Rather, the collapsed Shamva gold mine shaft that is visible from a distance may be a more intriguing attraction.
Tafuna Hills, however, offer much more than meets the eye from a distance. A snaky and gullied dust road from the highway takes one to the foot of these hills and, all of a sudden, there are signs of concentrated human settlements, including shacks.
A further drive up the hills would herald the start of small-scale gold-mining activities.
The many small-scale miners that form part of the envied Tafuna Hills mining community have one thing in common — good ore yields around 8 grammes per tonne and a lack of mining equipment.
The latter is a big problem.
The small-scale miners, working in groups popularly known as syndicates, use hammer and chisel to dig into the earth in pursuit of lucrative gold reefs, largely known as “bhandi” in Shona.
Very few have capacity to hire or buy compressors to drill and blast the very hard blue stones that characterise the area.
Equally, an even fewer number has slurry pumps to pump out water from the shafts as they encounter more underground water the deeper they go.
With this very manual and painful way of extracting gold ore from underground, many of these small-scale miners end up hauling out, at best, four tonnes of gold ore per week.
The average weekly earnings, therefore, amount to around $180 per week for most of the syndicate partners.
Considering the very low alternative returns from other rural activities such as farming, this reward for labour is very high and so addictive that it keeps attracting the small-scale miners to shed sweat in the unsafe underground work environments.
This tale resonates with most small-scale gold miners across the country.
Small-scale gold miners, whose definition expands to capture as well these non-mechanised producers, contribute about 50 percent of the total gold production in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe gold exports rose to $627 million in 2011 and may surpass the $900 million mark in 2012.
The sector is therefore very crucial after diamond and platinum mining, and Government needs to do much more for the small-scale gold mining sector to transform its image and improve output.
A number of small-scale gold mining associations have been regularly calling on Government to come up with schemes that provide funding and equipment to the miners.
Government has a history of bailing out big corporates and farmers by giving concessionary credit facilities and equipment, and small-scale miners believe they deserve the same treatment because of their unquestionable contribution to GDP and exports.
These calls are genuine and seek to address the inconsistencies on the part of the Government’s market interventionist policies.
But a more objective assessment of the small-scale mining industry reveals that they do not need active Government assistance in terms of cash handouts and equipment.
Rather, the small-scale miners need to lobby Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, to establish efficient soft infrastructure that allows the private sector financiers to find reason to finance the rather lucrative sector.
The mining registers at the Ministry of Mines are not easily verifiable and involve huge hassles in ascertaining ownership.
It takes a lot of time to establish who owns what claims, and, equally, the claims are not easily transferable.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development needs a very efficient mining register system that allows easy cross-referencing, traceability and transferability of ownership.
The absence of this soft infrastructure at the Ministry of Mines has been a major source of conflict in many mining transactions and leaves the system subject to manipulation.
The Zisco-Essar deal is one such deal that has been subjected to controversy and the root cause can be easily linked to absence of efficient soft infrastructure that allows easy verification.
The recent Kwekwe gold rush that grabbed headlines got more exciting not only because of the easy find but because a number of people had “genuine” certificates proving legitimate ownership of the said gold claims.
Disputes between the Zimbabwe Government and ACR over diamond claims in Chiadzwa can as well be easily linked to inadequate information systems at the Ministry of Mines.
And there are many other disputes revolving around ownership of claims that emanate from the inefficient soft infrastructure that exists at the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
Private sector financing mechanisms thrive mainly when the underlying collateral is marketable and not susceptible to disputes over ownership.
The inability of small-scale miners to attract private sector funding is, to a large extent, a result of their inability to prove undisputed ownership of their claims.
Zimbabwe has a thriving small-scale mining sector and there is no reason why the mainstream lenders should shun this for other sectors of the economy whose prospects may not be even as bright as those of the small-scale mining industry.
Government recently hiked the mining registration and renewal fees to deter speculative holding of claims by individuals and corporates who, according to the policymakers, are disrupting the intertemporal distribution of natural resources wealth.
The overall objective is right, but Government has to equally consider sanitising the soft infrastructure aspects relating to ownership verification and transferability of mining
claims so that the private sector finance mechanism can easily find small-scale miners a good market for lending.
The local banking sector — sitting on just around $3,3 billion deposits and riding on a precarious loan-to-deposit ratio of around 81 percent — has no meaningful capacity to finance big mining transactions off domestic balance sheets.
Big mining projects have always been, and will continue for some time, relying on offshore financing arrangements to fund their requirements.
The small-scale miners are very much localised in nature and have no capacity to attract off-shore funding, and, therefore, would need to rely on the local banking institution for funding.
Expectations by some of the small-scale miners’ associations that Government should provide sustainable funding and equipment purchase schemes for their members are justified, but far fetched. Yes, Government has done that before, but the scale, reach and success remain very limited relative to the demands of the small-scale mining industry.
Working towards attracting domestic financiers to finance small-scale miners should be the utmost priority for Government and small-scale miners’ associations in search of a sustainable funding solution.
And, invariably, the issue of soft infrastructure becomes the most important aspect that needs to be addressed by Government, without which the small-scale miners will remain largely without access to finance.
Full verdict on indigenisation in Zim
Saturday, 28 April 2012 21:18
On April 17, 2012, the MDC-T released a statement of resolutions in which it attempted to contextualise and comment on critical issues affecting the country.
Among other things, the statement had a section making specific reference to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme currently being implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe.
While the greater part of the document recorded the usual MDC-T rumblings about the Global Political Agreement issues that are now permanently outstanding, rule of law, “police brutality” and so forth, what surprised many is the section through which the MDC-T passed judgment on the indigenisation programme.
This is somewhat surprising because the policy is still in its infancy with the guiding Act having only been passed in 2008. The programme has mainly been implemented in one sector of the economy: mining.
It is only moving to other sectors like manufacturing.
Other countries that have successfully implemented indigenisation programmes like Korea and Malaysia only began reaping the full benefits of the policy after 20 or so years.
So, how can the MDC-T deliver judgment on a programme that is less than five years old and whose benefits are going to flow to indigenous Zimbabweans into posterity?
Besides its ill-timing, the MDC-T verdict on indigenisation is both lacking in substance and ill-informed.
In fact, the statement is based on a pack of lies and naked assumptions about the programme. Part of the statement reads: “They are not referring to broad based empowerment of the ordinary man and woman, but the looting and plunder of national resources by a small parasitic elite.”
The MDC-T further claims the programme is a “narrow model of transferring to a black elite”.
This shallow observation reveals either ignorance of the law, which, in itself, is no defence, or sheer arrogance through which the party is making itself blind to the dictates of the law.
For the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33) and the supporting statutory instruments, regulations and related notices clearly spell out how the programme is primarily meant to benefit ordinary Zimbabweans who were previously disadvantaged by the settler regime.
The regulations state that the primary groups meant to benefit from the programme are ordinary communities (encompassing ordinary men and women, youth representatives, the disabled, orphans, the elderly etc), employees (comprising ordinary workers and members of management) while the rest of the shares needed to acquire majority shareholding are to be transferred to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (NIEEF) to be administered by the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board.
Funds from the NIEEF will be available to Zimbabweans from all corners of the country to acquire shares and fund business projects while a significant portion will be reserved for future generations.
What is puzzling; revealing the blatant attempt by the MDC-T to play blind is its deafening silence on the projects that have been kick-started on the ground and already benefiting ordinary Zimbabweans.
There was nothing “elitist” when villagers led by their chiefs in Chegutu-Mhondoro Ngezi, Zvishavane and Shurugwi received share certificates confirming their ownership of 10 percent of the mining companies around their areas and the accompanying $10 million respectively to fund the operations of their trusts.
Now the chiefs have received training in administration and financial management so that they can run the trusts efficiently while community needs assessments are underway to give villagers the opportunity to identify areas they want developed.
On the other hand, there is nothing “narrow” in ordinary employees getting a percentage of the shares in Meikles and Schweppes and representation on the company board, something previously unheard off. Now the workers’ grievances are articulated by one of their own at the highest level while workers can look to financial results and a share of profits with added anticipation as part owners of the companies involved.
In addition, to the noted transfer of shares, Zimbabwean youths have directly benefited from the youth empowerment funds negotiated by Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere under the indigenisation and economic empowerment banner.
CBZ, CABS and IDBZ have been funding youths to carry out business projects while Stanbic has also launched a US$20 million youth empowerment fund.
I can bet to my last bottom dollar that none of these funds were going to be availed to previously-disadvantaged indigenous Zimbabwean youths if there was no Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme. Thus, we challenge, with evidence, the outrageous claim by the MDC-T that indigenisation is a “Zanu-PF machination of asset stripping, looting, patronage, clientelism, corruption and self aggrandisement”.
It is absurd that the MDC-T makes this serious allegation based on assumptions without a shred of evidence.
In fact, it is the MDC-T itself that is seeking to protect its white friends through “patronage, clientelism, corruption and self aggrandisement” as evidenced by the case of its Midlands North Treasurer John Kinard who is peddling the same falsehoods by his national executive to protect his business empire in Kwekwe that is resisting indigenisation laws.
Another lame claim by the MDC-T statement is that “indigenisation is not being driven by demand”, literally implying that the poor majority in Zimbabwe are happy to perpetually wallow in the waters of poverty while foreigners continue to exploit the country’s resources.
Nothing could be more insulting to ordinary Zimbabweans, many of whom sacrificed, and some lost their lives, participating in a protracted struggle to reclaim control over our natural resources.
In the final analysis, there is nothing “disgusting” in Minister Kasukuwere’s notice re-stating what is already enshrined in the indigenisation laws, but there is everything disgusting in the MDC-T’s futile attempt to mislead the people of Zimbabwe by giving a false analysis of the status and progress of the indigenisation programme.
The statement is ill-informed, misguided and misleading and, thus, should be outrightly rejected by the citizens of Zimbabwe and confined to the dustbin of political history.
* Kurai Prosper Masenyama is the Zanu-PF Director of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.
Labels: CHIEFS, INDIGENIZATION AND EMPOWERMENT ACT (ZIMBABWE), MDC
Anti-Corruption Commission sucked into Prime Minister’s house saga
Saturday, 28 April 2012 21:34
Sunday Mail Reporter
Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe top official Dr Munyaradzi Kereke has accused Commissioner Emmanuel Chimwanda of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission of “brazenly intimidating members of the public” and trying to exonerate Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the ongoing investigations to establish whether the Prime Minister abused about US$1,5 million allocated to him by the central bank to purchase a house.
Dr Kereke said the moves by Commissioner Chimwanda had left him with “very elevated anxiety and apprehension” and further questioned whether the moves by the commissioner were not tantamount to abuse of office. Reports say Commissioner Chimwanda once worked in the Prime Minister’s office and was in charge of the security division until he was pushed out following a restructuring exercise that was carried out in July 2010.
In a letter dated April 5 2012, addressed to the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr Denford Chirindo, confirming that he authored the February 28 2012 letter with allegations against his former employers, Dr Kereke expressed reservations at the way Commissioner Chimwanda conducted himself during a visit to his Rockfoundation Medical Centre.
Said Dr Kereke: “Mr Chairman, I also want it duly recorded that I took great exception to the fact that Commissioner Chimwanda from your office came to me again at RMC, on the day you sent him with your 5th of April 2012 letter just before the Easter Holidays, brandishing in his hands a diary written ‘Prime Minister’s Office’ and he uttered veiled threats to me, saying that ‘you people want the Prime Minister arrested for what?’, which remarks took me by surprise as I neither possess arresting powers nor hold any public office.
“I felt Commissioner Chimwanda was seeking to intimidate me for reasons unknown to me.
“I then told him I did not know what he was talking about before he later drove off from my hospital premises in his Prado 4x4 vehicle.
“These remarks by your senior official left me with very elevated anxiety and apprehension that perhaps Commissioner Chimwanda’s repeated visits to me have much more to them, and this is causing me to now live in fear.” Dr Kereke added that the PM’s housing issue, according to media reports, was still under investigations.
“What have I got to do with the investigations on the Prime Minister? Why is Commissioner Chimwanda venting to me these veiled threats?
“To my knowledge, media reports indicate that investigations on the Prime Minister’s housing issue (the PM being a very public figure who must be fully accountable to the people of Zimbabwe) are still on-going.
“Why would Commissioner Chimwanda move around brazenly intimidating members of the public and exonerating the Prime Minister on matters that are still in the mill of due process and on matters which probably he himself has no knowledge of in terms of what transpired?
“Does the conduct of Commissioner Chimwanda not constitute abuse of office and defeating the course of due process of the law?” questioned Dr Kereke.
He copied his letter to the President, the Commissioner General of the Police, the Attorney-General and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
In response to Dr Kereke’s letter, Mr Chirindo on April 13 2012 wrote a letter suggesting that a meeting be arranged to establish the true facts of the matter.
“Regarding the allegations of threats towards you by Commissioner Chimwanda, and his possession of a diary that raised your concerns, it may be necessary to arrange a meeting between yourself, Commissioner Chimwanda and ourselves to establish the facts of the matter, as it is now your word against his . . .
“Further, we deny that we pursue any political or other agenda, other than that of curbing corruption,” wrote Mr Chirindo.
There have been widespread concerns in recent months that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission had been politicised by the MDC-T and was now acting as its instrument to deal with those people perceived to be against the Western-sponsored party. A few weeks ago, the commission voted unanimously for the arrest of the Attorney-General, Mr Johannes Tomana, but since then, no move has been made to arrest the AG. It is understood that everyone associated with the decision to arrest the AG has been doing everything to disassociate themselves from the decision which turned out to have been made on false and distorted information.
Labels: ACC, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI
Magande defends Sata’s Malawian judge appointment.
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, May 4, 2012, 7:53 amJudge Chikopa -Malawian high Court judge chosen to head the Tribunal
National Movement for Progress president Ng’andu Magande says there is nothing wrong with President Michael Sata’s appointment a foreign judge to head a Zambian tribunal. Mr. Magande has wondered why people should be concerned about President Sata’s move to appoint a Malawian judge to head a tribunal instituted to investigate the three suspended Judges.
On Monday, president Sata suspended Justices Philip Musonda, Charles Kalimanja and Nigel Mutuna for alleged misconduct and appointed Malawian high court Judge Lovemore Chipoka to head the constituted tribunal.
Mr. Magande says president Sata only appointed a foreign judge to head the tribunal because he wants a panel that is not dented with local politics.
Speaking to QFM, Mr. Magande says if president Sata had appointed a local judge to head the team, the same people questioning the president's move would have complained of biasness.
And Mr. Magande says the suspension of the three high court Judges is not important stating that what is more important is the investigations into their conduct.
He says what President Michael Sata should now do is to ensure that the many commissions of inquiry instituted finish the investigations on time so that the nation can forge ahead with other important issues such as employment creation.
Mr. Magande however says the three suspended judges should be given a platform to clear themselves since they are still innocent until proven guilty.
And Get Involved Zambia has welcomed the suspension of the three Judges for alleged misconduct by republican President Michael Sata.
Father Bwalya hoped that the action taken by the republican president is the beginning of the long awaited judicial reforms.
He has however cautioned Zambians against passing guilty verdicts on the three suspended even before the tribunal concludes its work.
Father Bwalya says President Sata should be commended for the action he taken, stating that he was merely responding to complaints raised by stakeholders.
He says the government should go a step further by ensuring that alleged politically engineered judgments in the past regime are investigated.
President Sata has suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda together with High court Judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga for suspected professional misconduct.
Labels: CORRUPTION, FRANK BWALYA, JUDICIARY, MALAWI, MICHAEL SATA, NG'ANDU MAGANDE
Mugabe warns over party clashes
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has made a direct intervention in a bid to mend divisions in his Zanu PF party sparked by district elections. Mugabe warned that elections for district party committees, which had spilled into violence in Masvingo and Manicaland, were “destroying the party”.
Speaking at the Heroes’ Acre, where national hero Edson Ncube was buried on Friday, Mugabe also warned that candidate imposition and disputes over alleged vote-buying could wreck the party’s electoral chances.
“We don’t want people who say don’t vote for so and so... you are destroying the party, do your work, let the people judge you if they don’t like you or if they like you.”
Mugabe said political power contests in Zanu PF were increasingly being influenced by money over policy and principle.
“The leadership is transforming and is becoming too materialistic. That is going to destroy the party. Let us be like Cde Edison Ncube who never questioned the positions he was given,” he told mourners.
At Shumba Primary School in Nyajena, Masvingo, police reportedly fired warning shots in the air last weekend after running battles which saw classroom windows being smashed.
The clashes followed similar disturbances at a country club in Nyanga where fist fights broke out over disputed district elections. Manicaland party chairman Mike Madiro faced protests over accusations of vote-rigging and imposition of candidates.
The clashes are said to mirror an internecine national power contest between Vice President Joice Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa who are strategically trying to win control of the grassroots party in a battle to succeed Mugabe.
Labels: 2011 ELECTIONS (ZIMBABWE), ROBERT MUGABE, ZANU-PF
Mixed feelings over insurance companies, farmers
Thursday, 03 May 2012 00:00
THE issue of disputes between insurance companies and farmers has received mixed reactions with insurers accusing farmers of misrepresenting facts. Tobacco growers have been crying foul over insurance companies deducting money through stop orders facility without their consent. According to the farmers, insurance companies usually act as guarantors to input schemes and most farmers said they were not aware of that position until the time when the money was deducted.
Affected farmer, Mrs Sophia Marimo, said she only realised that she was insured by SFG Insurance company after money was deducted from her account.
“I never benefited from the input scheme I had joined and was surprised that SFG deducted money from my tobacco sales,” she said.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) had to suspend some insurance companies from the stop order system pending investigations.
SFG Insurance chief executive officer, Mr Charles Madziva, said the company was not among those suspended.
“We met with Dr Andrew Matibiri and he confirmed that,” he said.
Mr Madziva defended his company and said it was not one of the dubious insurance companies that were duping growers.
“For the record, the farmer in question (Mrs Marimo) signed willingly a tobacco insurance application form and stop order. If she had changed her mind she should have informed us at inception not when the cover has run for the full period. Cover was granted with the understanding that premiums would be paid upon sale of the crop.
“If the farmer had suffered a loss, we would have honoured the insurance contract. By agreeing to collect the premiums in retrospect does not absolve the farmer from their contractual obligation of paying the premiums as per agreement.
“We did not deduct premiums without the knowledge and consent of the farmer. As indicated, these signed records are available for your perusal,” he said.
SFG Insurance has so far assisted more than 5000 farmers to access inputs from various stakeholders at a time when banks were unable to fund these farmers.
A number of farmers assisted by such firms had high yields as the inputs were accessed on affordable terms.
Labels: INSURANCE, TOBACCO
‘Libya funded Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign’
Friday, 04 May 2012 00:00
TUNIS — The late Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime funded French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign,
lawyers for former Libyan prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi said yesterday, quoting their client.
“Muammar Gaddafi, his regime and the officials who worked with him financed Sarkozy’s election campaign in 2007
,” lawyer Bechir Essed told reporters in Tunis, where Mahmudi is detained, mentioning the sum of some 50 million euros (US$65 million). Essed’s claims came after the French Mediapart website
published a document on Saturday which it said showed Libya’s financing of Sarkozy’s campaign.
Sarkozy has angrily dismissed Mediapart’s document as a deliberate forgery timed to destabilise his re-election campaign and is taking legal action against the website.
According to Essed, the deal was concluded by former Libyan intelligence chief Moussa Kussa on the instructions of Kadhafi and that “documents proving the transaction exist.”
Another lawyer for Mahmudi, who is facing two demands for extradition to Tripoli, confirmed the claim, adding that his client believes Sarkozy is behind his detention in Tunisia.
“My arrest and my detention in Tunisia were instigated by the French president so that the details of the financing of his 2007 campaign are not revealed,” Mahmudi said, according to his lawyer Mabrouk Kourchid.
A Tunisian court in February cleared Mahmudi of crossing illegally into Tunisia as he fled Libya last year but kept him in prison.
He remains the subject of two extradition requests from Libya, and Kourchid said he had been admitted to hospital on Wednesday after suffering a haemorrhage.
Mediapart on Saturday posted what it said was a 2006 document signed by Kussa referring to an “agreement in principle to support the 2007 campaign for the candidate for the presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to 50 million euros.”
Sarkozy, who faces a tough second-round vote on Sunday against Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in his bid to win a second presidential term, dismissed it as a “crude forgery” and said he was taking legal action against Mediapart. — AFP.
Labels: FRANCE, LIBYA, MUAMMAR AL-GADDAFI, SARKOZY
AfDB chief urges Beitbridge solution
by Business Reporter
IMPLEMENTATION of a one-stop border post at Beitbridge is “imperative” to reducing trade-restricting transactions costs currently estimated to be as high at $35-million a year, African Development Bank chief economist, Professor Mthuli Ncube argues.
In a paper entitled ‘Border Posts, Checkpoints and Trade in Southern African Development Community (SADC) Countries’, Ncube says chronic delays, congestion and inefficiency at Beitbridge are costly in both time and money.
Waiting times range from 33 hours to 45 hours, while yearly transaction costs are estimate to be between $29.3-million and $35-million.
By implementing a one-stop solution, similar to the one that has already been deployed at the Chirundu crossing between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Ncube believes the flow of commercial goods and services, as well as the movement of people, will improve significantly, helping to facilitate further trade and investment.
At Chirundu, northbound trucks are inspected and cleared by the Zambian authorities, while Zimbabwean officials clear southbound vehicles, reducing the duplication associated with two checks.
Average waiting times have reportedly fallen from around two days to two hours, while those using the fast-track preclearance procedure are now crossing within 15 minutes.
The reduced transaction costs associated with the one-stop solution have stimulated trade, which has increased revenues for Zambia by 30 percent.
Ncube believes the solution should be replicated at Beitbridge, which is one of the busiest border posts within the SADC, with more than 3 500 vehicles and 12 000 people crossing daily during peak periods.
The paper also makes the case for a more generalised roll-out of one-stop border solutions across the region.
Trade liberalisation efforts, Ncube notes, have helped raise trade volume within the SADC from $12.4-billion in 2000 to $34.5-billion in 2010, after peaking at $36-billion in 2008.
However, the large number of border posts and roadblocks along key SADC corridors are costing the region about $48-million a year.
“The customs environment in the regional grouping is characterised by a lack of coordination among the multiple government agencies on both sides of borders,” he said.
“This raises the common challenge of the duplication of procedures at each border, which increases the potential for risk management and fraud.”
There is also a lack of computerised customs management systems, while such systems are not compatible when they do in fact exist.
The solution, Ncube states, lies in one-stop border posts, whereby people and products make a single stop and pass through simplified and harmonised customs and immigration procedures.
“One-stop border posts do not only facilitate the movement of goods and persons by reducing the bureaucracy and clearance times at the borders, they also enhance trade by reducing the high cost of trading emanating from delays, bribes, and cumbersome procedures at border posts,” he said.
Labels: AfDB, BORDER POSTS
Film Review: ‘Robert Mugabe: What Happened?’
By Blessing-Miles Tendi
Last updated on: May 3, 2012
ON APRIL 29, 2012, I participated in a panel discussion with Simon Bright, director of the film “Robert Mugabe. What Happened?”, and McDonald Lewanika the Director of Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe (CCZ). This followed the showing of Bright’s latest film (“Robert Mugabe. What Happened?”) in the Ultimate Picture Palace (UPP) in Oxford. The event was sold out. Extra chairs had to be wheeled in to accommodate a steady flow of eager viewers. Another reminder of how the story of Robert Mugabe the man continues to captivate the British public.
“Were this a documentary about any other African leader or the neglected crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Madagascar, would the public interest have been this similar?” I wondered to myself. I think not. Mugabe is the British media’s bogeyman for everything that is wrong with Africa and one can never escape the naked reality that the fallout from Zanu PF’s violent eviction of white farmers, many of whom were British descendants, from 2000 onwards in Zimbabwe continues to attract a disproportionate amount of international focus compared to other more severe crises in the DRC and Madagascar.
The film relies on interviews with the late Edgar Tekere, Geoff Nyarota, Simba Makoni, Lovemore Madhuku, John Makumbe, Wilfred Mhanda, Trevor Ncube, Elinor Sisulu, Dennis Norman and Lovemore Matombo to paint what Bright has billed as “a definitive account” of Mugabe’s life. The film depicts Mugabe’s role in Zimbabwe’s successful liberation and development, along with his Machiavellian retention of power, and suggests that his leadership showed great promise in its infancy but deteriorated over time. We are told, at the end, that Mugabe’s legacy is one of genocide.
To be fair, when juxtaposed against the “Mugabe and the White African” documentary, which managed to scoop a British Independent Film Award (2009), was nominated for a BAFTA (2010) and shortlisted for an Oscar award (2010), “Robert Mugabe. What Happened?” is a far more bearable watch. It also showcases never-before-seen archival footage and the makers are to be commended for conducting several original interviews. But that is where it ends. The film has many problems.
The vast majority of the aforementioned commentators on Mugabe have observed him from a distance. They have no intimate knowledge of the man. Consequently, the likes of Sisulu, Makumbe and Madhuku bring little by way of substance towards understanding Mugabe. Tekere and Norman once worked closely with Mugabe, but they are not sufficiently probed on meaningful matters. For instance, Norman’s only real contribution is the retelling of how, after the first cabinet meeting of the independent Zimbabwe government, Mugabe instructed cabinet members who were not dressed in suits to dress appropriately. Members of cabinet always wore suits after that first encounter, Norman tells us. “And so what?,” I exclaimed to myself during the showing.
The core problem with the film, however, is that the question it poses – what happened to Mugabe’s promise? – can be asked of almost all the figures it relies on for answers. Despite being a long-time civil society activist for democratic constitutionalism, Madhuku unilaterally amended the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) constitution in 2011 in order to retain leadership. Matombo and George Nkiwane are currently locked in a power struggle over control of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). The “handiende” or “angihambi” from power syndrome is not just about Mugabe and ZANU PF evidently.
Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer, has long since abandoned academic responsibility as he made clear to me in 2005: “There is no such thing as intellectual neutrality in Zimbabwe. You are either for the establishment or against it. I am not a saint. I definitely refuse to be a saint. John Makumbe is MDC. So am I as bad as [Tafataona] Mahoso? Definitely!”
And for all Makoni’s criticisms of Mugabe’s leadership in the film, it goes without saying that he was a member of Zanu PF from 1980 to 2008. Makoni bears collective responsibility for bad policies in those years.
These examples lead me to the essence of my argument, which is that in asking what happened to Mugabe, we are asking the wrong question. What we ought to ask is what happened to Zimbabwe’s political culture? What is it about our political culture and values that debases leadership? Zimbabwe’s problems are much bigger than Mugabe. By focusing on him, we miss the crux of the matter.
The words of the late Masipula Sithole in 2000 are worth recalling here: “The fundamental crisis our country is facing today is a crisis of political values. Should we manage to fix the economy without revisiting the values crisis, we are building on quick sand.”
I want to close by raising three last points. First, it is bad film-making for Bright to demonise Mugabe in the way that he does. Mugabe’s statement that if redistributing land from whites to blacks makes him a Hitler in Western eyes then let it be is deliberately used out of context in the film in order to portray Mugabe as Hitler’s disciple. I challenged Bright on this point during the post screening panel discussion. He was guilty as charged and could not reply.
Second, we are told at the end of the film that Mugabe’s legacy is one of genocide. And yet there has never been genocide in Zimbabwe. Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and the March to June 2008 violence all violated human rights, but to label them genocide is to banalise the term into a validation of every kind of victim hood.
Lastly, to further move beyond Mugabe, we need to understand the motives and calculations of the various men who built Mugabe up. Why did Rex Nhongo ditch ZIPA comrades such as Mhanda in favour of actively supporting Mugabe’s rise to power in 1976? What did Mugabe’s colleagues in detention in Sikhombela – such as Tekere and Enos Nkala – see in him that they did not see in themselves to the degree that they worked so closely with Mugabe and backed him to the hilt?
Understanding these men, their relationships with Mugabe and the structures out of which they arose will tell us much more about Mugabe’s leadership, where Zimbabwe has come from and where it is headed.
Blessing-Miles Tendi is Lecturer in African History and Politics at the University of Oxford and author of Making History in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media
Labels: BLESSING MILES TENDI, PROPAGANDA, ROBERT MUGABE
It's impossible to fight corruption without journalists - Kitwe DC
By Post Staff
Fri 04 May 2012, 14:00 CAT
KITWE district commissioner Elias Kamanga says it is impossible to fight corruption and enhance good governance without the watchful eye of journalists. And information and broadcasting minister Fackson Shamenda has assured the media in Zambia that they are free to operate independently.
Commemorating the World Press Freedom Day in Kitwe yesterday, Kamanga said access to information remains one of the crucial tenets of democracy, the rule of law and upholding of human rights in the country.
He said the media was the fourth estate in every democratic society and it was no doubt the fundamental principle of separation of powers.
Kamanga said President Michael Sata and the PF government held the media in high esteem because of the significant role it played of providing checks and balances to various institutions and the government.
"This year's Press Freedom Day beckons the commitment the government has shown towards having a constitution that guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The government has reiterated about its commitment to seeing that the Freedom of Information Bill is enacted into law because it appreciates the power of information in the socio-economic development of the country," Kamanga said.
He said the importance of free flow of information in a democratic dispensation like Zambia could not be overemphasised as the government recognised how information could influence society.
Kamanga said World Press Freedom Day should offer citizens, journalists and stakeholders an opportunity to reflect on the need for Zambia to have a piece of legislation that would guarantee freedom of the media in the country.
And Shamenda said freedom of the press was not only a campaign promise but it was also enshrined in the PF's manifesto.
"On behalf of the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, I would like to assure you that you are free," Shamenda said.
He cautioned, however, that press freedom should be accompanied with responsibility by its custodians.
"There is also a clause that you should be responsible because there are others also who would like to enjoy their freedom. So I would like to make it very clear, that friends in the media you can never get any better assurances than you are getting now," he said.
Shamenda said journalists must strive to uphold good principles in their duties even amidst political pressure.
"Some of you offered your services and became mercenaries, Judas Iscariots. Honestly, can you say for you to produce a documentary of Chanda Chiimba the III, you blame the MMD? I think individuals should have basic principles, at least the minimum," he said in reference to the freelance journalist credited for the infamous Stand Up for Zambia documentaries.
"Even Judas Iscariot realised what he did was bad, so he killed himself after betraying Jesus."
He said journalists in some other countries were being murdered and that he could only imagine if Zambian journalists would qualify to practice in those countries because some of them were ‘chickens'."
"Fortunately, we equally have among ourselves those who were courageous journalists even before they were given this freedom; so now feel free, you have the freedom to learn what you practiced," Shamenda said. "You should be celebrating and telling the world about how a free press can be achieved."
He said the challenge was now up to the journalists to help the government to come with legislation to protect journalists and those that would come after them.
Shamenda also sought to know why the media were dragging their feet on the launch of the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) which had the blessings of the PF government.
And Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ) president Anthony Mulowa urged the public media to take advantage of the government's assurance that it was free to operate professionally and independently.
Mulowa also urged the media to endeavour to capture divergent issues that affect society apart from politics.
And commemorating World Press Freedom Day in Chipata, Eastern Province minister Charles Banda said media freedom plays a crucial role in the transformation of society.
Banda said a free media transforms societies by simplifying the decision-making process with information such as empowering individuals to take control of their destines.
He urged journalists not to be used as tools of oppression but report objectively to help transform societies.
"As government, we shall ensure that we provide good legislation that would make the media flourish. Most importantly, we want to see improved conditions for the scribes so that they do not compromise their ethics by accepting bribes or favours from news sources," said Banda.
Southern Province minister Obvious Mwaliteta praised the media for playing an important role in the transformation of societies which resonated well with the PF's manifesto.
In reference to Robiana Muteka whose case was highlighted by the Post Lifestyle, Mwaliteta in a speech read on his behalf by Southern Province permanent secretary Edwin Zumbunu said the media was a mirror of society, hence the government's interest to see progress in the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill.
"This year's theme underscores the importance of the media to transforming societies…just here in Livingstone; we had a case of Robiana Muteka who had a growing tumour on his body. After the case was reported in the local media, the PF government facilitated for Robiana to be taken to Lusaka for specialist treatment," said Mwaliteta.
And former MISA Zambia chairperson Fr Frank Bwalya said young journalists should be courageous when executing their daily duties.
Fr Bwalya said media practitioners must also uphold professional and ethical demands of the profession.
And former Kitwe town clerk Ali Simwinga said the recently released draft constitution which had a clause on press freedom had addressed past imbalances.
Simwinga said the media, being the fourth estate, was an important stakeholder and journalists in the country must be extremely proud to belong to the profession.
Labels: CORRUPTION, ELIAS KAMANGA, FACKSON SHAMENDA, JOURNALISM, WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY
Cops ask Andrew Banda for his shopping list
By Bright Mukwasa
Fri 04 May 2012, 14:00 CAT
INVESTIGATIVE wings have asked former president Rupiah Banda's son, Andrew, to submit a long list of things he used to buy in his house, his lawyer Sakwiba Sikota said yesterday.
Investigative wings on Tuesday interrogated Andrew, who is also deputy High Commissioner to India, for allegedly soliciting for a cut from an Italian construction company, Fratelli Locci and over K195,800,000, money suspected to be proceeds of crime, allegations he denies.
Andrew failed to turn up the following day for further questioning as his lawyers were still compiling documents vital to the investigation.
But Sikota said: "They have given us a long list of things that they want to find out from him. The only things they have not asked us to provide is the grocery that he used to buy in a house, practically everything else."
Asked what things on the list investigators had asked Andrew to submit and if he was ready to furnish them, Sikota responded: "I am told everything apart from the groceries. That's why we say it is harassment, not everybody is asked to do that. Well if he doesn't, they are going to lock him up like they did Dora Siliya."
He said that was why the investigations against the Bandas were perceived as harassment as nobody else had ever been asked to do such.
He claimed the Bandas never got cleared by "this government" and it would carry on harassing them.
Investigative wings spokesperson Charity Chanda said the investigations against Andrew were still going on.
Labels: ANDREW BANDA, RUPIAH BANDA
‘Donchi kubeba' marketeers defy relocation plans
By Joseph Mwenda
Fri 04 May 2012, 14:00 CAT
TRADERS at the unauthorised ‘Donchi Kubeba Market' in Lusaka on Wednesday openly defied local government minister Professor Nkandu Luo and hurled insults against her for suggesting their relocation. And Lusaka mayor Daniel Chisenga says illegal structures such as the ‘Donchi Kubeba Market' were suffocating the city.
During her conducted tour of illegal structures in the city, Prof Luo who was in the company of her deputy Stephen Masumba and Chisenga, said traders at the market would soon be relocated to permanent structures elsewhere.
The traders had earlier warmly welcomed her, seemingly thinking she had some good news for them. The mood among the traders later changed when the minister started talking about relocation.
"We took some time to look at what alternatives we can give to the people who are trading at the ‘Donchi Kubeba Market'. We have finished doing our inventory and we do have a lot of space in the shops for people to go back in. We would like to relocate them to other markets within Lusaka, because that place is an eyesore. It is a health hazard in fact," said Prof Luo.
She observed that Lusaka had a lot of haphazard structures which needed re-organising.
But Prof Luo's call did not fall on obedient ears as traders reacted angrily and hurled insults at the minister and her delegation.
The traders who are believed to be PF supporters complained of victimisation by their own party in government and vowed not to relocate.
The traders said their government, which they had put in power, needed to relocate vendors first before coming to them.
The traders openly told the minister she was enjoying the benefits of a new government more than themselves.
The minister was forced to abandon the meeting because of their unruly behaviour.
Chisenga described the incident as unfortunate.
"Our plan was to engage the traders and consult them on how much time would be sufficient for them to relocate. We suggested one month and we expected them to agree or ask for more time but our colleagues became unruly and started speaking unpalatable language which was very unfortunate, because we as government could have chosen the shorter route to go at 01:00 hours to break that market without the traders," he said.
He said such structures were suffocating the city.
"We are not happy with the way people are suffocating the city. And our members should not look at PF and think it was made by a few people. Zambians across the country voted for change of government and we now have a responsibility as government to make decisions that will benefit all the citizens," he said.
Chisenga also said the government would start repossessing undeveloped land.
"Certain individuals have too much land which they are failing to develop within stipulated time and government has made a decision to repossess such land and empower Zambians because they are raping government. The state of certain buildings leaves much to be desired, people are now building warehouses right in the central business district and we wonder where our learned planners are," said Chisenga.
Labels: MARKETEERS, NKANDU LUO
Guards' wages shamefully low - Ng'andu
By Fredrick Mwansa in Itezhi Tezhi
Fri 04 May 2012, 14:00 CAT
ITEZHI TEZHI district Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) chairman Chris Ng'andu says wages for security guards are shamefully low. Speaking in Itezhi Tezhi during Labour Day celebrations held at Itezhi Tezhi Basic School, Chris Ng'andu said wages for the security guards need to be revised to reflect living conditions in the country.
"Security officers are the first line of defence, the first responders and protectors of property and lives, but employers don't treat them like heroes," he says. "They pay them about K300,000 which is shameful and yet they are among the most important employees because they are among the first people taken out if there was an attack," Ng'andu said.
He appealed to security firms to reflect seriously on the wages they were paying their security officers.
Meanwhile, Ng'andu commended government for awarding rural hardship allowances to all workers in Itezhi Tezhi district.
He also urged government to fulfill the promise of create employment for youths in the country.
And Itezhi Tezhi district commissioner Roy Nan'galelwa said government was committed to implementing policies that would stimulate creation of employment for youths.
"Appropriate labour laws are being reviewed to improve conditions of service for workers as well as implementing policies that will stimulate investment which will create employment opportunities for youths," Nan'galelwa said.
He said that there was need for change in the work culture of public workers in order for government to achieve significant development.
Malumo calls on media, CSOs to take decisive action against corruption
By Lovely Kayombo
Fri 04 May 2012, 09:20 CAT
BETTER aid inflow can only come in when there is a serious fight against corruption, says Action Aid Africa advocacy coordinator Henry Malumo. In an interview, Malumo said the fight against corruption has to move from mere talk and politicking and called on civil society organisations and the media to take a more decisive step to end the vice.
He said freedom and access to information is fundamental in the attainment of the developmental goals, saying where this has happened, leaders are accountable to their citizens and services are delivered "because government budgets are responsive to the needs of its citizens and government priorities".
He said the absence of access to information leads to plunder and mismanagement of resources by leaders in government.
"A lot more needs to be done by members of the society, media and civil society in fighting corruption and hold the government accountable. In the absence of access to information, there will be plunder, mismanagement of resources," he said.
Malumo said the current government has made positive policy changes which will ultimately lead to the attainment of millennium developmental goals and urged them not to backtrack on their set objectives.
"There are areas where the PF government has made very positive policy changes that will ultimately lead to the attainment of MDG's...one of the most important thing is the fact that the MDGs are very near now, the target of 2015 is close and it requires coming up with efforts and not backtracking," he said.
Malumo said the government needs to look at eradicating poverty and hunger critically.
"Another critical area is to begin looking at MDG goal number one of halving hunger and poverty. I think there haven't been major positive gains in the area of poverty reduction first of all because the concentration has not positively diverted from commercial farmers to the small holder farmers which will provide food for consumption, the perception in the agriculture sector is that commercial farmers are producing food for consumption and I think that is not true, in fact most of them may not be producing food for eating, they are into agriculture for commercial gains and for export outside our markets," he said.
Malumo urged the government to make major investment in small holder farmers who need help.
"We haven't made major investments in small holder farmers which is a worrying factor and also categorical investment in women who need that help. We have still continued from the MMD trend where there was much of talk and less action...I am hoping that the move and decision to reduce interest rates by banks will ultimately empower small holder farmers and local producers to be able to compete and be able to export so that they are able to inject in foreign currency," he said.
Malumo also said the MMD government took the country slightly backwards because there was irresponsible contraction of debt after debt cancellation.
"We hope that the PF government will be prudent and transparent in its borrowing so that when they contract debt, it will be one that is agreeable," said Malumo.
Labels: CIVIL SOCIETY, CORRUPTION, CSO, MEDIA
COMMENT - This blogger, who claims to speak for The Zimbabwe Vigil, (read: (NYASATIMES) EU petitioned to suspend aid to Malawi over bankrolling Mugabe
), an organ of British Intelligence (neither of which may be present where he types from), sees it fit to issue veiled threats to the President of Zambia, for telling the truth, which is that there are economic sanctions against Zimbabwe which must be lifted. The United States must annul the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, and all other acts that interfere with the domestic and foreign policies of the sovereign state of Zimbabwe.
If the writer means that the government of Zambia must be sabotaged by withholding donor aid, the way the Malawian government was sabotaged by withholding donor aid
, I suggest that in any such event, the Zambian government retaliates by collecting all the taxes that are due, or starts nationalizing all British owned mines, and collect it's 'donor aid' that way.
Also read: Zimbabwe and the Power of Propaganda: Ousting a President via Civil Society
, By Michael Barker, Global Research, April 16, 2008
(The Zimbabwean/Tumfweko) ‘Sata Needs To Be Educated’
You have to hand it to Mugabe: he is good at making friends. It must be the ‘charm’ noted breathlessly by British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert. No sooner does Mugabe lose his number one bootlicker, Mutharika of Malawi, than he pulls another out of his other boot: Michael Sata of Zambia who, as a former platform sweeper at London’s Victoria Station, is even better equipped.
It may be we have to hand it to Sata – in the form of a pouch of ‘grubby stones’ such as given by Liberian butcher Taylor to the bejewelled model Naomi Campbell. After all, Mutharika was given a stolen Zimbabwean farm.
But perhaps the Vigil is being unkind to Sata. It might not have been necessary to buy him. He could – let’s be fair – just be stupid. One way or another, how else do you account for his comments during his visit to Zimbabwe to open the wildly successful trade fair in Bulawayo (the majority of stands taken by the Chinese and many of the others by bankrupt parastatals with nothing to offer, such as Air Zimbabwe)?
For us at the Vigil Mr Sata’s bizarre pro-Mugabe comments raise a number of important points: what are the MDC and the British government doing about it? For the MDC’s part, it appears that Tsvangirai has protested by boycotting Sata’s visit. But what purpose does this serve? Wouldn’t a confrontation have been better?
Whatever the MDC’s strategy, the Vigil believes that the government here in Britain should not let pass Sata’s gross interference in Zimbabwe’s domestic affairs. Mr Sata complains about sanctions on Zimbabwe: what is the High Commissioner in Lusaka doing?
Eventually the British government was provoked into suspending the aid that kept Mutharika’s economy going. The Vigil believes that Britain should now take a close look at its priorities in Zambia. We suggest some of the huge aid package given annually to Zambia should be diverted to the undoubtedly daunting task of educating Sata.
Labels: DONORS, EU, GEOFFREY VAN ORDEN, MICHAEL SATA, NEOCOLONIALISM, SANCTIONS, ZDERA